Certified cheese expert Matt Caputo says:

Need proof Italy is still able to lay the smack down on any country when it comes to cheese? One taste of Scoparolo from cheese maker Antica Cascina in Bologna will set you straight. Oh, the joys of trading good spirited jabs with the French! This one is for you, Eric and Eman.

Seriously though, Scoparolo is a classic Pecorino that will stop any cheese geek in their tracks. Snappy elastic paste that quickly becomes rich and tender in your mouth. Fatty, and protein rich, with overt flavors of musky sheep cream, hay, and faint hints of honey, horse blanket and fresh mountain air.

Don't get me wrong, this is a mild cheese, but with so much complexity. The beauty pictured here spent a few months in the cave and picked up just the right amount of Caputo cave funk. These semi firm Pecorinos are the ultimate for pairing with salumi (cured Italian meats). For dessert, try it with pears, apples or honey.

Scoparolo is very versatile for beverage pairing. For wine, this is a rare cheese that plays nicely with reds. Italian based Sangoivese make it sing, but crisp or oaked whites work well too. Also, any beer as long as it is pretty light on the hops. Malt can be light or dark. Forza Italia!